Monday, January 16 , 2017, 3:12 pm | Fair 61º


American Dance & Music Sets Free Performance of ‘Dance: Up Close and Cultural’

Diverse works from three different choreographers will be presented by American Dance & Music, formerly Ballet Santa Barbara, in the fourth annual "Dance: Up Close and Cultural."

This free, family friendly performance will be held at the Carrillo Recreation Center at 2 p.m. Sunday, June 8. Join us for an informal afternoon of dance including guest artists, audience participation and a question-and-answer session.

After the 2013 event, Justine Sutton from Noozhawk wrote, “Take the opportunity to benefit from its classes and future performances, and enjoy another gem in Santa Barbara’s rich cultural atmosphere.”

This year’s concert features American Dance & Music Performance Group artistic director Carrie Diamond debuting her new work titled "Pastorale," set to the music of Ludwig Van Beethoven and performed live by music director Eric Valinsky with dancers, Jessica Feltman, Nikki Pfeiffer and Sally Schuiling.

In this trio, the choreographer sets a scene of uncertainty, disconnection and powerlessness while the work is infused by idea that artistry and humanity will prevail, despite the barriers and obstacles we face.

AD&M Performance Group joins forces with DramaDogs in a collaboration to create a new version of "Cardinal Sin," a 2001 work by DramaDog co-artistic directors E. Bonnie Lewis and Ken Gilbert.

“This whimsical piece was created as a challenge: Can one create a theater piece out of a recipe?" Lewis said. "It was ultimately developed into a loving and humorous homage to Julia Child, whose passion for life and love of fine food and fine dining inspire us all.”

The collaboration will feature actors Erica Connell and Mackenzie Urbanowicz and dancers Nikki Pfeiffer and Sally Schuiling.

Diamond will dance a solo by L.A. choreographer Mari Sandoval titled "Turkish by Matisse," with music by Igor Stravinsky.

“Turkish By Matisse was set in motion by the legendary dancer and educator Carmelita Maracci, who, in one of her lectures, gave an assignment to simply make a dance with a fan," Sandoval said. "I also took inspiration from the odalisque paintings of Henri Matisse.”

Diamond recalls: “Mari was my high school dance teacher. Her passion and dedication taught me how to envision dance as a way of life. I had the privilege of dancing Turkish when I was in high school and now, over 30 years later, our lives have magically converged again. I am savoring every moment in and outside of the studio with her. Working with Mari after all this time is a rare and special gift for me.”

As AD&M’s guest artist, Sandoval will present her company in the premiere of "La Vida Breve," a classical Spanish work set to the music of Manuel De Falla. Dancers include Kathy Keane, Monica Ramos and Sandoval. They will also dance a rousing "Sevillanas."

Each choreographer will talk briefly about her work and give audience members the opportunity to ask questions and to share their observations or comments. Audience participation caps the 75-minute event with a brief class for children and adults wishing to join Diamond and Lewis on stage for an inspiring movement activity. A reception will follow.

About "Dance: Up Close and Cultural," Diamond said: “Doing 'Up Close' is incredibly important to me not only because we get to dance and share great work with the community in an informal way, but because we bring children into the mix. A high point of 'Up Close' is when audience members join us onstage. After the kids have seen a couple of dances, and they can't sit a moment longer, we ask them up come and dance with us, and they are delightful and brilliant. It's a joyful and inspiring thing to see. Everybody is happy and it adds a lovely dimension to the afternoon.”

This free community event has been made possible, in part by the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, The Towbes Fund for the Performing Arts, a field of interest of the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Ann Jackson Family Foundation, Susan Bower, Denise Abrams, and by many other generous individuals and local businesses. Custom Printing is the printing sponsor for the event.

For more information, call 805.450.7535 or click here. Come experience dance — up close and cultural.

— Maureen McFadden is a publicist representing American Dance & Music.

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